Our Vision: Safe Routes to School
In April 2004, Palo Alto community members joined together with the PTA, Palo Alto School District, City Council, Police Department, City of Palo Alto City Staff, and other interested groups to create a Safe Routes to School task force.
This team knew that by working together, they could leverage resources from the entire community to create positive change in Palo Alto in creating Safe Routes to School. The increased awareness and communication has lead to many successful projects in and around our community.
What is Safe Routes to School?
Safe Routes to School is an international movement designed to increase the number of children walking and biking to school. Parents are joining with community organizations, civic leaders, school districts, law enforcement, and traffic engineers to get children walking and biking to school more often. These teams sponsor activities that integrate health, fitness, traffic relief, environmental awareness and safety under one program.
The most successful programs incorporate the five E’s: education, encouragement, engineering, enforcement, and evaluation. You’ll see all of these components in our Safe Routes to School programs.
Benefits of Safe Routes to School
We believe that our community will benefit from getting more children traveling safely to school on foot or bike, with greater frequency.
Providing Safe Routes to School offers a wide range of benefits:
- It’s Fun!
- It’s Healthy!
- It’s Non-Polluting!
- It’s Friendly!
- It’s Educational!
- Walking + Biking = Healthy Children!
Making Safer Choices
Getting your children outside and active will lead to healthier lifestyles for them. In addition, allowing your children to walk and bike to school will also help give them skills that they will need as they become drivers.
As more families choose alternatives to driving, this new behavior improves community and personal health, benefits the environment, increases safety, and helps to decrease traffic congestion around schools.
How do I get started?
Take some time to look at how to get to your school. Work with your local PTA Traffic Safety Representative to identify the best route. If you notice problems please bring them to the attention of the City/School Safety Committee. Many dangerous conditions have been resolved through the parent and community involvement.
You don’t have to bike or walk everyday
Pick a day, like a “Walking Wednesday” to leave your car at home. Or drive to a location close to the school and then walk the rest of the way. Form a carpool for rainy days. Join a walking school bus. Or, just participate in the annual Walk to School events during October.
Do something during the year to just try an alternative to your family car. You should see that it is an easy and rewarding way to build a healthy lifestyle for your children.
We believe that it is time for a change
We hope that you join Palo Alto’s Safe Route to School movement and help encourage your family to get out of the car and walk and bike more often. This website is designed to provide you information and tips on how to do just that!